have you really tried plastic? I bought some plastic needles after i first started knitting and seriously, if they were the only option i would never have picked up needles again. they were terrible, even if the price was right. Were you the one who didn't want to use circular needles? i can't remember right now.
Generally most people use the Denises as circs but there are buttons in there that can be used to make them flex shaft needles if you don't want to use them as circs. I would strongly suggest the Denise needles though...i have three sets and LOVE them. a lot of people do think they are plastic but they aren't and they are wonderful!